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Crazy Laws in California and Fun Facts

Updated on May 11, 2015
Do you think she is using her ... ? Nah!
Do you think she is using her ... ? Nah! | Source

Crazy Laws in California and Fun Facts

Did you know that California is sometimes referred to as the state of fruits and nuts? I think I found out why. There are 65 crazy laws still on the books in that state. Sixty-five! Here are 26 of the craziest:

In San Diego, it is illegal to wipe one’s car with used underwear.
I don’t think I want to touch that one.

In San Francisco, it is illegal to pile horse manure more than six feet high on a street corner.
I don’t think I want to touch that one either.

In Baldwin Park, nobody is allowed to ride a bicycle in a swimming pool.

Was anybody trying?

Ya think it's easy to fasten a leash without opposable thumbs?
Ya think it's easy to fasten a leash without opposable thumbs? | Source

A Belvedere City Council order reads: “No dog shall be in a public place without its master on a leash.”
Fido to master: “Now behave. Stop fidgeting while I fasten your leash.”

In Blythe, you are not permitted to wear cowboy boots unless you already own at least two cows.
“Okay, Bessie, Okay, Elsie, you-all wait right there tied to the parking meter while I go inside and buy me some boots.”

In Carmel, a man cannot go outside while wearing a jacket and pants that do not match.
Yup! That sounds like California.

• Ice cream may not be eaten while standing on the sidewalk.
This crazy law was repealed when Clint Eastwood became mayor of Carmel for one term 1986-88. Maybe the other commissioners did not want to antagonize the ‘Go on! Make my day!’ actor.

• In Carmel, it is against the law for women to wear high heel shoes.

There must be a very powerful sneakers lobby in that city.

In Chico, detonating a nuclear device within the city limits results in a $500 fine.
What if you move your nuclear device to outside the city limits? And if you have a horrible accident, who are they going to fine? I mean, find. Your various body parts?

In Chico, bowling on the sidewalk is illegal.

It’s also impossible. Those darn pedestrians keep getting in the way.

In Dana Point, one may not use one’s own restroom if the window is open.
Hmmmmmm! Maybe your window is open for a reason!

T-Rex - the Grandaddy of Lizards
T-Rex - the Grandaddy of Lizards | Source
My car is in there somewhere.
My car is in there somewhere. | Source

In Fresno, no one may annoy a lizard in a city park.

What if it annoyed me first?

No person may show his or her buttocks on a playground in Hermosa Beach.

I think that’s called the ‘droopy drawer dictum.’

In Hollywood, it is illegal to drive more than two thousand sheep down Hollywood Boulevard at one time.
Sheep Rancher counting: “ … one thousand nine hundred ninety-nine, two thousand, two thousand and one. Oh, oh, Willie, I miscounted. Quick, hide that little baby lamb in your saddle bags.”

In Long Beach, putting anything in your garage other than your car is illegal.

Hurry, before the gendarmes arrive, remove your lawn mower, garden tools, garden hose, all bicycles, motorcycle with sidecar, extra freezer, washing machine and dryer, Christmas tree lights, auto repair equipment, six-pack of motor oil, twin-infant stroller, carpentry tools, surf boards, scuba equipment, etc., etc.

My mommy thinks I'm beautiful.
My mommy thinks I'm beautiful. | Source

In Norco, all persons wishing to keep a rhinoceros as a pet must obtain a $100 license first.
The bigger problem may be why would you want a rhino for a pet in the first place?

In Los Angeles, It is illegal to lick a toad.

There is a genus of toads that excretes a hallucinogenic substance on its skin. Urban legend states that people lacking intelligence were licking them.

In Norco, your vehicle cannot contain a sound system that can be heard outside the car unless you are attempting to sell something.

What if you are attempting to sell a vehicle sound system? Just wonderin’.

In Pacific Grove, there is a law on the books declaring the molestation of monarch butterflies to be illegal.

I’m curious. Were any citizens doing this? And how does one molest a butterfly?

Pack of ponderous pachyderms pacing
Pack of ponderous pachyderms pacing | Source

In Redlands, motor vehicles may not drive on city streets unless a man with a lantern is walking ahead of it.

But this crazy law does not indicate that at night the lantern must be lit.

San Francisco prohibits elephants from strolling down Market Street.

This raises two questions:

a) Why has only Market Street been selected?

b) May elephants stroll down alternate streets? Inquiring minds want to know.

The following crazy laws apply to the entire state:

No vehicle without a driver may exceed 60 miles per hour in California.

I wonder – does this happen often?

Give me a moment to figure this out!
Give me a moment to figure this out! | Source

Animals are banned from mating publicly within 1,500 feet of a tavern, school, or place of worship.

Two questions arise: Who informs the animals . . . and How?

Women may not drive in a house coat.
Understandable. Driving in a car makes much more sense.

You may not hunt moths under street lights.

Give those poor things a fighting chance. Hunt them in the desert.

Sunshine is guaranteed to the masses.

I think we have that law in Florida and Hawaii, too.

I'm ready for my closeup.
I'm ready for my closeup. | Source

Fun Facts and Illustrious Information about California

Around 150 buffalo roam on Catalina Island, descendants of a herd imported there in 1924 for a movie. The silent film was ‘The Vanishing American’ but the buffalo (bison) still remain.

The Iron Door Saloon in Groveland is the oldest saloon in California. Built in 1852, the inside ceiling is adorned with dollar bills.

Frederick's of Hollywood was opened by Frederick Mellinger, inventor of the push-up bra, in 1946. The flagship lingerie shop on Hollywood Boulevard has become a local landmark. A Lingerie Museum features a collection of undergarments worn by Hollywood stars including one of Madonna’s pointy-breasted corsets.

Golden Gate Bridge
Golden Gate Bridge | Source

Since 1937 when it opened, more than 1,200 people have committed suicide by plunging 220 feet to their deaths from the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.

Death Valley in eastern California is recognized as the hottest, driest place in the United States. It isn't uncommon for summer temperatures to reach more than 115° F.

The hottest day ever recorded in the United States was on July 10, 1913 at Death Valley when the temperature reached a scorching 135° F.

The California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento is the largest museum of its kind in North America.

Handsome male turkey
Handsome male turkey | Source

Californians are the largest consumers of turkey in the country. They eat three pounds more turkey than the average U.S. individual.

More turkeys are raised in California than in any other state in the United States.

It is estimated that each year there are approximately 500,000 detectable seismic tremors in the state.

San Francisco Cable cars are the only mobile National Monuments.

General Sherman sequoia tree
General Sherman sequoia tree | Source

The General Sherman Tree in Sequoia National Park is the largest tree in the world, weighing more than 6,000 tons.

The tallest tree in the world, at 369 feet, is in Humboldt Redwoods State Park.

Inyo National Forest is home to the bristle cone pine, the oldest living species. Some of the gnarled trees are thought to be over 4,600 years old.

The highest and lowest points in the continental United States are within 100 miles of each other. Mount Whitney measures 14,495 feet and Bad Water in Death Valley is 282 feet below sea level.

The best view in the United States is at Mount Diablo State Park. From the top of the 3,849 foot summit more of the earth's surface can be seen than any other peak in the world, except Mt. Kilimanjaro, Africa.

The state motto is ‘Eureka,’ a Greek word which means ‘I have found it!’ The motto was adopted in 1849 and alludes to the discovery of gold in the Sierra Nevada mountains.

California is known variously as The Land of Milk and Honey, The El Dorado State, The Golden State, and The Grape State.

Totaling nearly three million acres, San Bernardino County is the largest county in the entire United States.

California is bigger than 85 of the smallest nations in the world.

Zoot  suit on the left, Zoot suit on the right
Zoot suit on the left, Zoot suit on the right | Source

It is illegal to wear a Zoot Suit in Los Angeles.

A zoot suit is a men's suit with a high waist, wide trousers, tight cuffs, a long coat with wide lapels and wide padded shoulders. It was popular during the 1940s.

Alpine County, one of the smallest in California, has no high school, ATMs, dentists, banks, or traffic lights.

During the California gold rush of 1849, miners sent their laundry to Honolulu for washing and pressing. The extremely high costs in California during those boom years made it cheaper to send laundry all the way to Hawaii for cleaning.

Over 30,000,000 Legos were used to construct the attractions and decorations at Legoland in Carlsbad.

Evolution of the Raisin
Evolution of the Raisin | Source

Fresno proclaims itself the Raisin Capital of the World.

There are more than 300,000 tons of grapes grown in California annually.

California produces more than 17 million gallons of wine each year.

Fallbrook is known as the Avocado Capital of the World and hosts an annual Avocado Festival.

Celebrities born in California

Shirley Temple actress, ambassador
Dave Brubeck musician
Julia Child chef
Joe DiMaggio baseball player
Robert Frost poet
George E. Hale astronomer
William Randolph Hearst publisher
Marilyn Monroe actress
Richard M. Nixon president
George S. Patton, Jr. general
Robert Redford actor
John Steinbeck author
Adlai Stevenson statesman

The first motion picture theater opened in Los Angeles on April 2, 1902.

The first person to personally receive a star on the Walk of Fame in Hollywood was actress Joanne Woodward. She received it in 1960.

The Hollywood Bowl is the world's largest outdoor amphitheater.

Many celebrities are buried at Hillside Cemetery in Culver City including Al Jolson, George Jessel, Eddie Cantor, Jack Benny, and Percy Faith (orchestra leader).

Norma Jean Mortensen
Norma Jean Mortensen | Source
Marilyn Monroe
Marilyn Monroe | Source

Castroville is known as the Artichoke Capital of the World. In 1947, Norma Jean Mortensen was crowned Castroville's first Artichoke Queen.

She later became known as Marilyn Monroe.

The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel is said to be haunted by Montgomery Clift who continues to play his bugle in Room 928, and Marilyn Monroe whose image has been seen gazing from a lobby mirror.

The Country Store in Baker has sold more winning California State Lottery tickets than any outlet in the state.

Disneyland opened in 1955.

Didja know: Walt Disney was afraid of mice.

State Nickname: The Golden State

State Flower: Golden Poppy

State Bird: Valley Quail

State Tree: Redwood – some of the giant redwoods in Sequoia National Park are more than 2,000 years old.

State Mammal: California Grizzly Bear

State Reptile: Desert Tortoise

State Butterfly: California Dogface

State Fish: California Golden Trout

In 1925, a giant sequoia over 300 feet high located in California's Kings Canyon National Park was named the nation's national Christmas tree.

Using satellite surveying techniques, scientists have determined that Los Angeles is moving east at a rate estimated to be about 1/5 of an inch per year, closer to the San Gabriel Mountains.

Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuge contains the largest winter population of bald eagles in the continental United States.

California has more national parks (8) than any other state.

Los Angeles skyline
Los Angeles skyline | Source

Two of the ten most populous cities in the U.S. are in California: Los Angeles and San Diego.

One out of every eight United States residents lives in California.

The Coachella Valley is nicknamed ‘The Date Capital’ of the world and ‘The Playground of Presidents.’

The largest three-day rodeo in the United States is held on the Tehama County Fairgrounds in Red Bluff.

True story: In Modesto, CA, Steven King was arrested for trying to hold up a Bank of America branch without a weapon. Mr. King used a thumb and a finger to simulate a gun, but unfortunately, he failed to keep his hand in his pocket.

© Copyright BJ Rakow, Ph.D. 2015. All rights reserved. Author, "Much of What You Know about Job Search Just Ain't So."

Comments for Crazy Laws in California and Fun Facts

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    • drbj profile imageAUTHOR

      drbj and sherry 

      2 years ago from south Florida

      Thanks for the visit, Mary. Sorry about the homesickness - have a garlic ice cream cone and it will vanish. Have to apologize for not including the Gilroy garlic festival. Can't believe I failed to sniff that one out. ;)

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 

      2 years ago from Brazil

      I'm a Californian and enjoyed reading through this. You are right about the fruits and nuts. lol

      So many of the facts, I didn't know.

      What about the garlic festival in Gilroy? I believe you can even get garlic ice cream. Yuck!

      Oh gosh... now I'm homesick.

    • drbj profile imageAUTHOR

      drbj and sherry 

      3 years ago from south Florida

      Hi, Liz. Delighted you found this tribute to your state - it does have a number of remarkable places to visit as well as very interesting festivals. How did I miss that fog festival? Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

      Congrats on winning your well-deserved Hubbie, m'dear.

    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 

      3 years ago from Oakley, CA

      Well done, Paula! As a CA native, I've visited both the Giant Sequoias mentioned in this article, but I wonder: how does one weigh a living tree???? LOL

      I've also been to most of the National Parks in the state, as well as many of the state parks.

      Had to laugh at the Sunshine Guarantee...apparently it does not apply to the western and north-western areas of San Francisco, or to the towns just south, Daly City and Pacifica, known as "the fog belt."

      The fog is thickest and chilliest in the middle of summer, leading my father to once wisecrack to some tourists shivering in shorts at Fisherman's Wharf, "I'll bet you thought San Francisco was in Sunny California!"

      Didjaknow--Pacifica, CA hosts an annual "Pacific Coast Fog Festival," (informally known as the Fog Fest)? It's intended as a spoof of the idea that it's "always" foggy there, and a 'foggiest city' award is handed out each year, with the stipulation that Pacifica itself is not allowed to win. The festival is held on the last weekend in September--the time most likely to have nice weather, or even the odd heat wave.

      The Pacific Grove butterflies--ah, yes. It IS a big deal. The Monarch Butterflies return every year, as regularly as the swallows to Capistrano. They are a protected species, and there is a huge festival, parade, and the kids are even given the day off school for the annual return. No butterfly collectors allowed.

    • drbj profile imageAUTHOR

      drbj and sherry 

      3 years ago from south Florida

      Your desire is my mandate; your wish is my command' your request is my obligation. So there! Don't forget, Paula, to check out the crazy laws in the District of Columbia.

    • fpherj48 profile image


      3 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      No pressure Doc, but I'm counting on you for my weekly dose.

    • drbj profile imageAUTHOR

      drbj and sherry 

      3 years ago from south Florida

      OMG, Paula, take a big deep breath NOW. Quickly! If you are gasping for air now after laughing so hard, how will you last for the rest? I cannot afford to lose you, m'dear.

      Delighted bunches that both you and your son enjoyed this so much. Will endeavor to provide even more guffaws and hilarity with ensuing series of crazy laws. Wait 'til you read about Florida - many state and city laws are unbelievably weird. Thank you for sharing this all over the planet. I am ever grateful.

    • fpherj48 profile image


      3 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York I am spent, done~ worn out. Swear're getting better & better. I can't breathe. My son heard me cackling from outside. He came in to find his poor mother, holding her abs, curled over, tears streaming down her face, gasping for air...

      All I could do was point at the screen. He read it and I tell you, I haven't seen him laugh that hard since he was 12. Neither of us could talk.

      Tweeted & pinned & sent to friends & family everywhere, but especially in California...

    • drbj profile imageAUTHOR

      drbj and sherry 

      3 years ago from south Florida

      Don't think, my dear shanmarie - just laugh! As Milton Berle once said: "Laughter is an instant vacation." Amen!

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      I think you make me laugh.

    • drbj profile imageAUTHOR

      drbj and sherry 

      3 years ago from south Florida

      poetryman - You are so right and it frightens me. We have enough problems at the present with clueless folks who are driving cars, I shudder to think about a future with no drivers at all - either on the ground or in drones in the air.

      On second thought - would there be fewer accidents? Only God knows ... and she ain't sayin'.

    • poetryman6969 profile image


      3 years ago

      That driverless vehicle thing bay come up. Drones don't have any visible driver. Also, they are threatening to let computers drive all our cars someday. We are not far from the day when you may look up and see that not only is that big rig without a driver but the drone flying above it has no pilot either.

    • drbj profile imageAUTHOR

      drbj and sherry 

      3 years ago from south Florida

      Delighted you enjoyed this, Eric. I agree that California has very crazy laws but the craziest? I will let you judge after you read all the others. So far in my research, Florida is even crazier - I kid you not.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Great Hub! We are most likely the craziest state in the union.

    • drbj profile imageAUTHOR

      drbj and sherry 

      3 years ago from south Florida

      Nice to make your acquaintance, pgiblett. You are spot on - crazy laws exist in every U.S. state as well as worldwide. Thanks for finding this hub and enjoying it. Let me know what you think of the other six in this series ... so far.

    • drbj profile imageAUTHOR

      drbj and sherry 

      3 years ago from south Florida

      Thank you, Faith, for your tireless attendance at my Crazy Laws series and your more than generous comments. It is distinctly my pleasure to provide you with laughter. And thanks for appreciating my comments re said laws. They are my avenue for providing additional giggles, chuckles and, pardon the expression, titters!

      I also appreciate your adding that info about kids mixing bikes and skateboards with cement waterless pools - a dangerous pastime. Your tweeting, pinning, sharing, etc. are most appreciated as are you, m'luv.

    • pgiblett profile image

      Peter B. Giblett 

      3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      There are crazy laws anywhere you care to go, but enjoyed reading this list.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      3 years ago from southern USA

      Hahaha, I no longer feel so bad about my state! Great way to start the day out by laughing so hard as these ridiculous laws. I think this one may be the best one yet. I agree with Genna, your comments mixed in with the laws are just as funny as the crazy laws or more so.

      Oh, I may actually understand the swimming pool law LOL ... here the kids love to skateboard and BMX bike and cement pools with no water, actually make great spot to do these extreme sports.

      Well done! Up and all the way across, tweeting, pinning and sharing


    • drbj profile imageAUTHOR

      drbj and sherry 

      3 years ago from south Florida

      Happy you found this, Genna, and appreciate your kind comments about the humor of the crazy laws as well as my comments. In italics. Your morning smiles are my payment. You are most welcome.

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 

      3 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      The moment I read this title in my e-mail list, I thought, “Oh good…here we go again with another one.” :-) I don’t know which is more humorous – the crazy laws or your comments in italics. This Sunday morning, I am drinking my coffee and smiling from ear to ear. Thank you.

    • drbj profile imageAUTHOR

      drbj and sherry 

      3 years ago from south Florida

      Hope that homesick feeling, Say Yes, was a pleasant one. And the Lake Tahoe region you mention is absolutely beautiful and very popular with skiers from all over the world. Thanks for the visit and the Up.

    • Say Yes To Life profile image

      Yoleen Lucas 

      3 years ago from Big Island of Hawaii

      California is my home state. Reading this made me homesick. I'd like to add that it contains loads of hot springs, and the Lake Tahoe region has the largest cluster of ski resorts in the country.

      Voted up!

    • drbj profile imageAUTHOR

      drbj and sherry 

      3 years ago from south Florida

      Delighted this is your favorite so far, Alicia. Lots more on the way. Thanks for finding the crazy laws as funny as I do as well as the facts interesting. You are more than welcome, m'dear. When it comes to providing research and interest, you lead the way, y'know.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I've enjoyed all your funny law hubs, but this is my favourite so far. The laws are very funny and the facts are very interesting. Thanks for doing all the research and creating such an interesting hub, drbj.

    • drbj profile imageAUTHOR

      drbj and sherry 

      3 years ago from south Florida

      I can identify with your parents' stuffed garage, Rochelle. My folks always had everything BUT the car in ours.

      Love your ingenious interpretation of the ice cream standing on the sidewalk crazy law. Somehow I knew you would love this series, too.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image

      Rochelle Frank 

      3 years ago from California Gold Country

      My parents were both born in Long Beach, and I grew up there not realizing all the time that they were criminals. We had all the stuff you mentioned, and more, in our garage.

      I suspect that Mom may have also worn high heels in Carmel, where I am wondering if the ice cream was standing on the sidewalk. (" Ice cream may not be eaten while standing on the sidewalk. ") If so, I can see why high heels might be dangerous.

    • drbj profile imageAUTHOR

      drbj and sherry 

      3 years ago from south Florida

      Hi, shanmarie. Yes, 'molest' in English may mean bother, pester or annoy. But I was referring to the second meaning of the word: annoying sexual advances. I was thinking that one would almost have to be a butterfly to actually 'molest' another butterfly. Whatcha think? (laughing)

    • drbj profile imageAUTHOR

      drbj and sherry 

      3 years ago from south Florida

      Hi, tireless traveler. You ain't heard nothin' yet. Wait 'til you read all the crazy laws and strange facts in my state - Florida. Thanks for the update on the Livermore rodeo - good to know.


    • drbj profile imageAUTHOR

      drbj and sherry 

      3 years ago from south Florida

      Hi, bp. I promise not to let the ledges in Blythe know about the cowboy boots you own even though you are, pardon the expression, cow-less.

      You are welcome!

    • drbj profile imageAUTHOR

      drbj and sherry 

      3 years ago from south Florida

      Hi, Billy, you are so welcome for the laugh. As I am learning more and more about the crazy laws of each state, I become more and more convinced that a number of our citizens as well as our legislators should be confined ... to lock-down institutions. ;)

    • drbj profile imageAUTHOR

      drbj and sherry 

      3 years ago from south Florida

      Hi, MizB. So happy to learn that you have the ability to explain at least 3 of these crazy laws. Perhaps you should also run for your state legislature. You are absolutely spot on with your observation. When many of these ancient laws become obsolete, they are ridiculous indeed to the rest of us.

      The lawmakers have other fish to fry and do not want to devote the time, effort and cost to remove useless laws. Thanks for the new word - ledges. I would call them something else but this is a family site.

      How interesting that you and the hubby once worked for Walt in Arkansas. Speaking of mountains, there must be a mountain of material available from your Disney experiences.

      Thanks for loving this hub, m'dear, I intend to keep them coming. PS - I'll give Paula your regards.

    • drbj profile imageAUTHOR

      drbj and sherry 

      3 years ago from south Florida

      Hi, shanmarie. Now that leash law is beginning to make some sense. Thank you for your common sense interpretation. Keeping their masters leashed could cut down on citizens' crazy actions.

      I do like your solutions, m'dear, bowling pedestrians over or running them down in your housecoat. With your mind, y'know, you should run for the state legislature!

    • shanmarie profile image

      Shannon Henry 

      3 years ago from Texas

      P.S. In Spanish molestar means to bother. I don't know if there is a similar definition in English, but if so, it would be rather easy to bother a butterfly.

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 

      3 years ago from California

      Really the best view of the United States is Mt. Diablo? What one doesn't know about their own back yard.

      FYI Livermore,California also sports the fastest rodeo in the world.

    • breakfastpop profile image


      3 years ago

      I really appreciate the news about Blythe. I have several pairs of cowboy boots and I don't own even one cow! Thanks so much.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Of course, those of us who live in Washington think most Californians are crazy anything, so crazy laws for them just make sense, right? LOL Just kidding to anyone from California who reads this. Thanks for the laugh my friend.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      Doris James-MizBejabbers 

      3 years ago from Beautiful South

      Yes, I understand that you have more turkeys in California than anywhere else in the U.S. Maybe bowlers were using the pedestrians for bowling pins. Seriously, I’m old enough to be able to explain at least three of those crazy laws, and they were very logical when they were passed. The problem is that once these laws become obsolete and look ridiculous to the generations that come after them, the legislature forgets to repeal them until we come along and make fun of them. Every state still has some left on the books, and at government editor’s conferences we have talked about going home and getting them repealed. However, most of the time the ledges (our word) are too busy with special interests they are trying to get passed and ignore us.

      That’s interesting about Mount Diablo State Park. I would have thought Pike’s Peak would have held that honor. I guess the rest of those darned ole mountains block the view in Colorado. And it should be illegal to wear a leisure suit in CA if it isn’t. Mr. B and I at one time worked for Walt Disney, here in Arkansas!

      Good hub, Paula, I love ‘em. Keep them coming. Voted up interesting, and funny.

    • shanmarie profile image

      Shannon Henry 

      3 years ago from Texas

      The dogs must really be in charge, eh? Maybe they keep their masters on a leash so they won't destroy themselves riding bicycles in pools and detonating nuclear devices.

      While we are on the topic of destruction. . .just bowl the pedestrians down! Or run them down in your house coat.


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